Making Yogurt

Making yogurt at home saves money, reduces plastic, and keeps a staple probiotic food in the house. Nourishing Traditions recounts research that the lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria in yogurt strengthens resistance to allergies. I make yogurt about once a week to have in breakfast smoothies or use it to make Greek yogurt and whey.

Basic supplies for making yogurt: mason jars, milk, starter yogurt culture.

Basic supplies for making yogurt: mason jars, milk, starter yogurt culture.

I like using an infrared thermometer for instant temperature readings. A candy thermometer works well too.

Measure the temperature of the heated milk using a candy thermometer or infrared thermometer.

Measure the temperature of the heated milk using a candy thermometer or infrared thermometer.

To prevent scalding the milk on the bottom of the pot, use a double boiler or stir frequently.

Heat the milk to 180ºF, then cool it to 110ºF.

Heat the milk to 180ºF, then cool it to 110ºF.

Once the milk reaches 110ºF, add the starter culture and place it in a warm oven overnight.

Once the milk reaches 110ºF, add the starter culture and place it in a warm oven overnight.

The recipe below adapts the steps described in Wild Fermentation.

Basic supplies for making yogurt: mason jars, milk, starter yogurt culture.
Making Yogurt
Print Recipe
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 8 hours
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 8 hours
Basic supplies for making yogurt: mason jars, milk, starter yogurt culture.
Making Yogurt
Print Recipe
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 8 hours
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 8 hours
Ingredients
  • 1 gallon milk
  • 4 tbsp yogurt must contain active live cultures
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat the milk till bubbles begin to form. If using a thermometer, heat milk to 180ºF. Use a double boiler or stir frequently to prevent scalding. The heating results in a thicker yogurt by encouraging the proteins to coagulate.
  2. While the milk heats, turn the oven to its lowest warm setting, which is usually around 170ºF. Once it preheats turn it off. The warm oven will be used to incubate the yogurt overnight.
  3. Cool the milk to 110ºF, or the point where it feels hot but it does not hurt to keep a clean finger dipped in it. If using a double boiler, speed up the cooling process by replacing the water in the outer pot with cold water.
  4. Add starter culture to the milk. No need to stir.
  5. Cover the milk and place in the warm oven for eight. Do not remove or jostle the yogurt during this time—it can impede the culturing process. You can leave it to ferment longer, resulting a more sour yogurt as the lactose turns into lactic acid.
  6. Ladle into jars and store in the refrigerator for weeks. Save a cup of yogurt for use as the starter culture in your next batch.
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